Commitment, discipline, late nights, and very early mornings is what it takes to be in theatre.

Koleka Putuma, 24, started her life in Port Elizabeth where she wanted to be a doctor, just like her mother. When she got to high school, she gravitated towards the arts.

Putuma studied Theatre and Performance at UCT, and it was there that she developed her passion for poetry. She won the PEN South Africa student writing award for her poem Water, and was recognised by the Sunday Times as one to watch in 2015.

She’s certainly stepped up to the plate. Not only has her work been showcased in the UK and US, but she has just launched her first book, Collective Amnesia.

Aside from creating original plays for younger audiences in 2015, she also wrote and directed the 2016 play Woza Sarafina! And, as the co-founder of theatre company, The Papercut Collective, she juggles theatre and poetry.

She relishes the fact that she can collaborate with other artists and choose how she spends her time.

“If you want to succeed you need to realise that there is no one formula for this. Do what makes sense for you. Most folks are winging it.”

“I live by the words: “It’s going to be alright.”

Categories: Disruptors